The AICR/WCRF Continuous Update Project
In November 2007 AICR and WCRF launched our Second Expert Report , Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective.
This unique project collected and analyzed all relevant research on food, nutrition and physical activity in the context of cancer prevention published around the world over the past 60 years.
It stands as the most authoritative, evidence-based source of information on the subject. It demonstrates clearly that the choices we make every day about what we eat and how much we move directly affect our risk of developing many of the most common cancers.
Ongoing Review of the Evidence
Today, this field of research is growing faster than ever. That's why we established our Continuous Update Project (CUP): To maintain a central database of the accumulated evidence related to food, nutrition, physical activity and cancer, and to update it on an ongoing basis as relevant new research gets published worldwide.
This AICR/WCRF CUP database is the world's largest resource of existing scientific literature on food, nutrition, physical activity and cancer.
Once the database is fully up-to-date for all cancer types, the AICR/WCRF CUP expert panel will evaluate whether any adjustments need to be made to AICR/WCRF's Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.
The process of updating the database on a rolling basis is well underway, adding systematic literature reviews of new evidence, cancer site by cancer site.
Breast Cancer Update
The first cancer type to be added was breast cancer. This evidence was reviewed by the CUP expert panel, and the report on the updated evidence was published in 2010.
That report confirmed AICR's Recommendations for Cancer Prevention with respect to breast cancer. Key findings include:
- The evidence that lactation protects against breast cancer at all ages thereafter is convincing.
- Physical activity probably protects against postmenopausal breast cancer.
- The evidence that alcoholic drinks are a cause of breast cancer at all ages is convincing.
- Experts estimate that following our Recommendations for Cancer Prevention could prevent 38 percent of breast cancers in the US each year – that's over 74,000 cases.
Colorectal Cancer Update
The next cancer type to be added was colorectal cancer. This evidence was reviewed by the CUP expert panel, and the report on the updated evidence was published in 2011.
That report confirmed AICR's Recommendations for Cancer Prevention with respect to colorectal cancer.
Notably, the CUP Expert Panel upgraded their judgment of the evidence linking dietary fiber to protection against colorectal cancer from probable to the convincing. Key findings include:
- Evidence that physical activity protects against colon cancer is convincing.
- Evidence that consumption of red meat and processed meat are causes of colorectal cancer is convincing.
- Evidence that consuming alcoholic drinks is a cause of colorectal cancer is convincing for men. For women, the evidence with respect to colorectal cancer is is slightly less strong (probable
- Evidence is convincing that body fatness and abdominal fatness are causes of colorectal cancer.
- Consumption of garlic, milk, and calcium probably protect against colorectal cancer
- Experts estimate that following AICR's Recommendations for Cancer Prevention could prevent almost half (45 percent) of colorectal cancers in the US each year – that's over 66,000 cases.
New data on pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer, have now been added to the CUP database, as well as data on ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. New evidence regarding breast cancer survivors is currently being added.
Once the central database has been fully updated with all cancer types, it will be made available to the wider scientific community.
This will allow the vital information it holds to be accessed anywhere in the world, and help researchers target those areas of cancer prevention that demand further investigation.
Published on September 11, 2012